Case Studies

London Overground Train Company

In 2007 Solutions Training & Advisory Ltd, (an EDEXCEL approved training centre) were contracted to design and deliver a range of induction programmes for new staff at London Overground Rail Operations Ltd (LOROL).

This subsequently developed into three main programmes

  1. 9 Day Induction course for Station Assistants
  2. 5 Day Induction course for Drivers & Conductors
  3. 3 Day LOROL People Programme (to convert former Silverlink rail staff to the values and standards of LOROL)

To identify and define the learning needs, to write a very comprehensive range of customised programmes from scratch, to design and produce training materials including a comprehensive range of bespoke workbooks and then deliver to exacting standards in an incredibly short timescale. All of this was done without an infrastructure at LOROL so Solutions managed this entire process. We then had to storyboard, write, direct and produce a 22 minute in house DVD for LOROL to assist in the delivery of a culture change programme for former Silverlink staff. Solutions then progressed to delivering training to over 1000 staff from October 2007-February 2009 on Equal Ops, Bullying & Harassment, Grievance & Discipline, Drugs & Alcohol, Fraud, Equality & Inclusion, Customer Service, Health & Safety, Manual Handling & Fire, Conflict Resolution, Disability Awareness and First Aid. LOROL were tasked with delivering Induction training to all their staff by December 2009 and this was achieved thereby meeting their contractual obligation to TFL.

Solutions worked closely with LOROL to fully understand the needs and local requirements. A thorough analysis of the learning needs was undertaken by the team at Solutions in partnership with the LOROL. The Solutions training team have collectively a very broad range of qualifications and experiences allowing them to deliver high quality learning in the subjects within their expertise. Added to this the fact that the team have many years’ experience working for other rail, coach and bus companies giving them detailed knowledge of the values and culture of this industry benefited the students. Constant attention to learner feedback, assessment and evaluations ensured the programmes were continually improved and modified to ensure excellence. All programmes were subject to our internal verification processes.

Solutions and LOROL have forged a strong and close relationship, built through mutual respect and response to the needs of a demanding organisation. Although LOROL has now on site trainers Solutions is still called on to deliver training in an emergency or when pressures dictates extra trainers often at 24 hour notice.

Client Comment

“London Overground chose Solutions Training & Advisory Ltd to become their strategic Learning & Development partner because they offer a range of very high quality, value for money services.

Solutions proved to respond to our fast changing environment and designed and delivered the induction training in very challenging timescales. On completion of the first 10 day induction programme, new employees gained the knowledge and skills to be effective from day 1. The Solutions team are highly professional, flexible specialists and have demonstrated the ability to customize and meet the needs for London Overground employees. The Solutions Team played a key part in motivating a new team of employees.”

Darren Hockaday – Human Resources Director
London Overground

Solutions Training & Advisory Ltd has worked with us to deliver induction training to new staff since the inception of the organisation in October 2007 as well as our organisational familiarisation programme – LOROL People – which was designed to bring together all staff, at all levels, in all directorates.

We are extremely pleased with the knowledge and professionalism shown by the trainers and management staff. We highly recommend them to anyone who approaches us requesting Fire Safety, Health & Safety, First Aid, Conflict Resolution and Disability training. As a company, Solutions is very flexible and focussed on the needs of its customers.

Nikki Best-Zdidi, Learning & Development Advisor
London Overground

Greenwich (now Oxleas) NHS Trust London

The Project

In 2006 Greenwich NHS Trust terminated their contract with the incumbent training provider. Greenwich had a need for high quality moving & handling training for all staff including nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, dentists, health care assistants, and administration and support staff. They also needed access to high quality guidance and support for the risk assessment process and other matters relating to reducing absenteeism linked to MSD.

The Challenge

The key challenge was to ensure training met the specific needs of the various staff groups and that it reflected the particular issues of staff working in the community in less than ideal circumstances very often with minimal equipment. Also to ensure that various staff groups were totally engaged in the learning and provided with practical solutions to the many challenges of their jobs. Previous training experiences had been disappointing so the challenge for Solutions was to raise the quality, focus and credibility of the learning to meet the needs and to change attitudes and behaviours.

The Solution

Solutions worked closely with Greenwich to fully understand the needs and local requirements. A thorough analysis of the learning needs was undertaken by the team at Solutions in partnership with the Trust.

The outcome was a series of different programmes ranging from two-hour toolbox talks on back care to one day courses being developed. High quality trainee workbooks along with highly practical learner centred programmes using a problem solving approach were designed and delivered by the Solutions training team.

The Solutions team was comprised of former NHS training professionals with community experience gained in nursing, physiotherapy and ambulance settings. All trainers had adult teaching / training qualifications as well as manual handling qualifications and membership of the National Back Exchange. Their backgrounds and qualifications enabled them to relate directly to the Greenwich needs and identify practical answers to the local manual handling issues.

The key contributory Success Factors

The key elements of our service solution in achieving a successful outcome were:

  1. Understanding the unique challenges that Greenwich staff face
  2. Flexibility in training delivery and tailoring the content of each session to the unique needs of the learner group
  3. Ability to work with diverse groups – mixed in terms of background, cultures and levels of experience and previous training.
  4. Strong contract management and organisational skills
  5. “Outstanding” levels of customer service throughout the life of our contractual relationship

Project Outcome

Solutions and Greenwich (now Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust) have forged a strong and close relationship, built through mutual respect and response to the needs of a demanding organisation. That has now resulted in Solutions developing the relationship with Oxleas so much that the parties work together in four areas of learning.

Though it is rare for staff to contact the Oxleas central team they have received unsolicited positive feedback about the training provision from Solutions Training’s programmes.

Client Comment

“Although it is not standard practice for us to provide references or in any way to promote the services of a private organisation, particularly for the purposes of securing further work, I am more than happy to make an exception in this case on the understanding that this information will be used as part of the promotion of the Pan London NHS training contract which Solutions has been successful in securing.

I believe that should NHS colleagues choose to appoint Solutions as their provider, they would see the same high standard of expert training delivery, coupled with an understanding of and experience working in Primary Care that Greenwich Teaching PCT has benefited from since July 2006.

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Although initially appointed to deliver a tailored Moving & Handling training programme for Greenwich TPCT, Solutions has since been successful in tendering to deliver a number of programmes for us, under the following broad headings:

  • Moving & Handling
  • Personal Safety & Conflict Resolution
  • Resuscitation
  • Working Safely (Health & Safety)

From my perspective, the unique value added of your organisation lies in your ability to understand the challenges that our staff face in these area, particularly in relation to delivery of care in people’s own homes. Moreover, you are clearly able to be flexible in your training delivery and tailor the content of each session to the unique needs of the learner group, without sacrificing any of the agreed core learning objectives. You are able to achieve this despite the groups being on occasion extremely mixed in terms of background and levels of experience and previous training.

A further key strength of Solutions, which I believe should be promoted to NHS colleagues, is your superior contract management and organisational skills. We have received outstanding levels of customer service throughout the life of our contractual relationship and always found Solutions to be extremely responsive in setting up new or managing changes to existing, learning programmes. I have been particularly impressed with your ability to consistently achieve 1 day turnaround times to set up blocks of additional courses or even entire new programmes. In my view, the company is very aptly named, as I have always been able to walk away from our conversations with the solution to meet our requirements.

Finally, I wish to note that it is unheard of for staff to contact my team to offer unsolicited positive feedback about any training provision, yet this has happened on several occasions in relation to the Moving & Handling training programme Solutions deliver for us since the beginning of the contract.

At January 2016 Solutions are still under contract with us to deliver the high quality training.

Oli Setíkovská
Development Manager – 2009
2013 now Assistant Director Learning & Development Oxleas NHS

Central Trains Ltd

The Project

To provide a training programme to enable high sickness absenteeism in this train operating company caused by staff being threatened, abused and assaulted in circumstances arising out of their work to be dramatically reduced from 312 lost days a year and rising.

The Challenge

To design a training programme that was highly practical by nature, grounded on evidence based principles that would engage a very diverse, unionised workforce so that they could identify threatening situations and know how to respond to keep them safe.

Previous training had been too theoretical and not led to any reductions in absenteeism and indeed was still increasing. The training team were to have experience of working in unionised culture and understand the politics.

The Solution

Solutions spent time out and about with train crews including revenue protection and platform staff to experience first-hand the environmental and human risk factors that were contributing to the very high levels of work related violence. From this a clearly defined training need was established and a need for management actions that included creating better trust between staff and management by taking initiatives that were seen to be supporting staff. For example a statement was made clearly that no member of staff should risk their own safety just to try and obtain a fare form a person who was challenging and escalation systems put in place for that eventuality.

All staff then attended a one day highly practical conflict resolution training programme customised to their world. Solutions even filmed a number of scenarios on board trains and on the platform for staff to learn how to avoid getting drawn into conflict with “Betaris Box” attitudinal lock in being a key part of the programme. In addition the focus was in risk assessing people and places and how to communicate with a frustrated or angry person in a controlled manner so as to reduce risks and create rapport.

Project outcome

So successful were the outcomes of the training and the increased confidence between staff and management that in the year post training absenteeism die to work related violence as reduced from 372 lost days to just 68 a huge reduction. This success led to Solutions developing programmes for other train operating companies. Two years later staff were invited to attend a half day refresher programme and 83.8% of staff stated that they regularly applied the principles taught on the one day course and had found it of great benefit both at work and in life generally.

The key behaviours that staff had applied that had contributed to this great success were.

  1. Not making assumptions about people or places
  2. More objective assessments abut people, objects at hand and places
  3. Recognising where people were on the anger escalation ladder ( Solomon and Solomon)
  4. Increasing space when dealing with an angry person

Client Comment

The job done by the Solutions team was brilliant they managed to change the mind sets and attitudes of people some of whom could themselves be quite difficult to manage. We were delighted and the figures speak for themselves.

Les Bird
Health & Safety Manager